Are gas prices about to take off?
Prices at the pump have been dropping for months. Industry analysts are trying to gauge future movement, but say the 'fiscal cliff' could be a determining factor.
Has the easing of prices at the pump been a final holiday present for consumers, or just part of the annual cycle of supply and demand?
Gas prices have been dropping for months. Several cities even reported unleaded gas dipping below $3 per gallon over the holidays, but in recent days the price of gas has been creeping up. The national average for a gallon of unleaded was $3.28 Friday, up from $3.26 Thursday and $3.23 a week ago, according to AAA.
AAA singles out several factors for the decrease in prices this fall and winter: larger gas inventories, lower crude oil prices, less demand for gas during the winter months as well as a switchover to less-expensive winter blends of gasoline. The ongoing economic downturn is also having people think twice about how often they find themselves at the pump.
But prices are due to bottom out sooner or later. And now, with crude oil prices firming and continued political and economic uncertainty, the market is apparently at a crossroads.
"Whether gas prices continue to rise or again turn lower will be impacted by action -- or inaction -- in Washington surrounding the looming 'fiscal cliff,'" said AAA’s Avery Ash in the Association's latest Fuel Gauge Report Overview.
"If a deal is reached before the end-of-year deadline it will likely be seen as positive for the U.S. economy, which could send crude prices and gas prices higher. If a deal is not reached, markets are likely to slump and gas prices could go even lower."
But other observers believe the trend is for gas prices to rebound as they usually do in the new year.
"It's happened six out of the last seven years: The national average has risen between Christmas Day and Jan. 15, and this year there's no reason to believe now that this won't happen again," says petroleum analyst Patrick DeHann in his GasBuddy.com blog.
And you can also throw into that mix new projections by the U.S. Energy Information Administration for 2013 and beyond.
The EIA is expecting greater domestic energy production, particularly of crude oil, to continue -- with overall gas consumption to be lower next year. The a.gency says the introduction of stricter fuel economy standards in new vehicles, along with the increased use of natural gas in heavy-duty vehicles, should also have a lasting impact on gas and other energy sources.
These changes, said EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski in a press release, show how "evolving consumer preferences, improved technology, and economic changes are pushing the nation toward more domestic energy production, greater vehicle efficiency, greater use of clean energy and reduced energy imports."
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Stop talking crazy...big oil already makes billions off of us.
If at all, gas prices can still go down. Solving the fiscal cliff problem should not have any impact on the cost of gas, although artificially they can try to inflate prices but for that they do not need no ones advice.
Where do you media people buy gas at, prices dropping not on my planet,they have been raised then reduced a few pennies then raised back and are no where near the prices when Bush was the president, the nations debt was half what it is and we all had jobs,house's with a vaule and invest ment accounts.....Thank you Obama and all your ill informed voting tards!
Gas around my area had been steady !!! it got down to $3.14 and now it's up to $3.30 in
4 days. This SUCKS !!!!!! I bet were back up to around $4.00 bucks before we know it....
The Oil Barons,
Perhaps all consumers of gasoline and petroleum products should be reminded that today's largely unregulated and tacitly corrupt petroleum industry began with one of the biggest professional thieves to ever grace the American landscape, John D Rockefeller. His vast Standard Oil Company of the late 19th century laid the groundwork and the 'rules of the game' from the wellhead and transportation to the refining and retail of oil products on a national scale. With little political or market interference, it is no wonder that he became the world's very first Billionaire in 1892. The oil men who have followed in his footsteps have continued the 'game' to extract obscene profits literally without interrruption or controls for more than a century.... it seems that John D would be very proud indeed of his legacy.
Peace to all ~
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